Sep 23, 2009

Philosophical Phun - Rational Irrationality :o)

So, thanks to my friend DB at Vagabond Journeys, I have decided to add another occasional theme to my entries. We have the well established Sunday Silliness, the infrequent Bad Sheeba Poetry, the informative Science Scene, the priceless Bucko's Bucks, and now - Philosophical Phun.

Here is a post I read that was about Rational Irrationality: "Threats of all sorts depend on exploiting another person's rationality. We can thus neutralize threats by making ourselves irrational. Since we have good reason to want to neutralize threats, it can be rational to make ourselves irrational!" This quote came from Philosophy, et cetera.

A couple of examples come to mind for me.

First is the tried and true, "I love you so much, that if I cannot have you, then nobody can."

Second is more of a situation and not a quote: If you dislike [hate] someone so much, that you feel a constant need to check up on what they are doing or saying [or even... gasp... mimic], to reaffirm your feelings, you have crossed the rational/irrational line. That is all I have to say about that :o)

Can you think of other examples?


  1. Bucko,
    O agree with you.f you hate someone and need to know what there doing.Somethings wrong.Dont give anyone the power to drain your brain is what I see.Glad to stop by again.ITS BEEN AWHILE FOR ME

  2. you want your kid to succeed so you do everything for them and make sure their self-esteem is protected by never allowing them to fail.


  3. Hmm. I would guess that rationality is suspended in extreme situations, like prison, or concentration camps. In such a situation, which is completely different from reality and life in the everyday world, you would probably need to behave in ways you never would normally as a way to survive.

  4. This is going to be interesting. Unfortunately I've had experience with the "If I can't have you no one can" guy.

    Anything that puts the word If in front of love. If you love me you will do what I want. It's not love it's control. (Hugs)Indigo

  5. I like what Beth said. But what defines an extreme situation? Would a a middle class family facing foreclosure and the loss of their entire materiel worth be extreme? Does it take the compounding of that problem, say loss of earning power, illness and pressure of supporting others to make it desperate enough to suspend rationality?

    And why is 'rationality' rational? The current confusion over the health care crisis are two opposing views, both rooted in 'rationality'.

    The second situation you propose is one that I have thought about in theory, never had to 'act' in it. I would like to think that I would act pre-emptive to any escaltion in actions, either by exhausting all legal means and/or removing myself from the general area.

  6. I have had one of those guys too. He stalked me, I got really sick with IBS, finally admitted what was going on to my family, my dad told him no restraining order would be necessary because the pieces of him would never be found, and he never bothered me again.

    However, I have an rational need for coffee that borders on irrational if I run out or the pot doesn't work.

    be well...

  7. Hi Ken,
    That second example sounds downright unhealthy ... disliking someone enough to follow their activities isn't just irrational, it's stalking. Here's another possible example: You want something so badly you don't ask for it (almost like by not asking it, you neutralize the threat of getting "no" for an answer).

  8. Fascinating line of thought, but what if your irrational response, meant to neutralize the threat, is met by an equally irrational response by the person posing the threat? To manipulate Parfit's example, a robber threatens to kill your children if you don't open the safe, and you make the irrational response, "I love my children, please kill them." The robber,angered by your irrational response, loses sight of his intial goal of robbing the safe, and shoots the children to punish you for failing to cooperate.

    This is some very intriguing stuff. I like this new theme.

  9. I wrote a nice comment, but it disappeared.


Tell Me What You Think, Don't Make me go Rogue on you :o)